Clinical Speech - Language Pathology, Master of Science

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

College of Health and Human Services

This curriculum is designed to meet American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) standards for entry into professional practice. After completing these requirements, you are prepared to apply for ASHA's requirements for clinical certification.

This program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 63 - 69
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

This program may lead to licensure.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Optional

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northern Arizona University is to advance the knowledge and practice in human communication and its disorders, to prepare our students to lead in the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and to enable all individuals to communicate, read, write, think, and learn, in order to succeed in a changing world.
To accomplish this mission, we intend to:

  • Acquire new knowledge through empirical research.
  • Promote scholarship and other creative works
  • Contribute to the profession at local, regional, national and international levels.
  • Foster critical thought in a learning-centered environment
  • Incorporate technology to enhance classroom and clinical teaching
  • Mentor students to achieve professional competence in serving individuals of all ages.
  • Serve as a local and regional clinical resource for individuals with communication disorders.
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Excel in professional service.
 The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to enriching research, teaching, learning and the professional service environment by embracing the cultural and linguistic diversity of our region and nation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with the accreditation standards of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) on behalf of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Knowledge Outcomes: The applicant must have demonstrated knowledge of
  • the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences
  • basic human communication and swallowing processes, including the appropriate biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases. The applicant must have demonstrated the ability to integrate information pertaining to normal and abnormal human development across the life span.
  • communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates in the following areas:
    • articulation;
    • fluency;
    • voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation;
    • receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, prelinguistic communication and paralinguistic communication) in speaking, listening, reading, writing;
    • hearing, including the impact on speech and language;
    • swallowing (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, and related functions, including oral function for feeding, orofacial myology);
    • cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning);
    • social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, and lack of communication opportunities);
    • augmentative and alternative communication modalities.
  • the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders, including consideration of anatomical/physiological, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates.
  • processes used in research and of the integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical practice and how to access sources of research information and have demonstrated the ability to relate research to clinical practice
  • contemporary professional issues that affect speech-language pathology. Issues typically include trends in professional practice, academic program accreditation standards, ASHA practice policies and guidelines, and reimbursement procedures.
  • entry level and advanced certifications, licensure, and other relevant professional credentials, as well as local, state, and national regulations and policies relevant to professional practice
Skills Outcomes: The applicant for certification must have completed a program of study that included experiences sufficient in breadth and depth to achieve the following skills outcomes:
  • Evaluation
    • Conduct screening and prevention procedures (including prevention activities).
    • Collect case history information and integrate information from clients/patients, family, caregivers, teachers, and relevant others, including other professionals.
    • Select and administer appropriate evaluation procedures, such as behavioral observations, nonstandardized and standardized tests, and instrumental procedures.
    • Adapt evaluation procedures to meet client/patient needs.
    • Interpret, integrate, and synthesize all information to develop diagnoses and make appropriate recommendations for intervention.
    • Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support evaluation.
    • Refer clients/patients for appropriate services.
  • Intervention
    • Develop setting-appropriate intervention plans with measurable and achievable goals that meet clients'/patients' needs. Collaborate with clients/patients and relevant others in the planning process.
    • Implement intervention plans (involve clients/patients and relevant others in the intervention process).
    • Select or develop and use appropriate materials and instrumentation for prevention and intervention.
    • Measure and evaluate clients'/patients' performance and progress.
    • Modify intervention plans, strategies, materials, or instrumentation as appropriate to meet the needs of clients/patients.
    • Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support intervention.
    • Identify and refer clients/patients for services as appropriate.
  • Interaction and Personal Qualities
    • Communicate effectively, recognizing the needs, values, preferred mode of communication, and cultural/linguistic background of the client/patient, family, caregivers, and relevant others.
    • Collaborate with other professionals in case management.
    • Provide counseling regarding communication and swallowing disorders to clients/patients, family, caregivers, and relevant others.
    • Adhere to the ASHA Code of Ethics and behave professionally.

Graduate Admission Information
  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Must also complete CSDCAS application
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
    • Personal statement or essay
    • IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card
    • List of courses taken in the field
Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 63 - 69 units distributed as follows:

    • Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Coursework: 31 - 34 units
    • Additional Coursework: 8 units
    • Elective coursework or graduate research: 6 units
    • Clinical practica: 6 - 9 units
    • Fieldwork experience or externship: 12 units

    Take the following 63 - 69 units:

  • *Students entering the program without CSD 405 (Neurological Foundations of Speech, Language, and Hearing) or its equivalent, must take CSD 505 prior to enrolling in CSD 551 CSD 552 and CSD 558.

    You may complete this plan through one of the following tracks:

    • Full-time Track: If you have a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology, you will complete the plan requirements in consecutive semesters.
    • Full-time Leveler Track: If you have a bachelor's degree in another discipline, you will complete the plan requirements, including undergraduate pre-requisite courses, in consecutive semesters.
      • Students applying to the Full-time Leveler Track must successfully complete up to 21 additional undergraduate credit hours. These courses may include: Phonetics, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism, Language Development in Children, Speech-Language Sciences, Hearing Science, Neurological Foundations of Speech, Language and Hearing (if not previously taken, this course will be integrated into your graduate course sequence) and Survey of Audiology.
    • Summers-only Track: If you have a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology and are currently employed in the field, you will complete the degree requirements through summer course work, some online academic-year course work, two clinical practica at your work site, and one non-school/medical site in the fourth summer.

    All students must pass a comprehensive examination that is administered by the department.

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
    • This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan wherein a student may start a master's degree while simultaneously completing their bachelor's degree.

    • Students enrolled at the Flagstaff campus for both undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible to complete the Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and start a Master of Science in Clinical Speech - Language Pathology at NAU.

    • Students must apply to the master's program by the graduate program's application deadline, meet all admissions requirements listed in the policy Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs, as well as the admissions requirements for the specified master's plan to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.

      Be sure to speak with the Master's Program Director/Coordinator regarding your interest in the accelerated plan.
    • Students accepted into the Accelerated Program should complete the same requirements for the graduate degree as defined above.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Program Fee Information
  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee has been approved for this program. See program fee details. Program fees are subject to change and updated July 1 for the next academic year.